The Lime Court Care Home launched a pilot scheme during which the overnight staff wears pajamas rather than usual uniforms in effort to help the disoriented residents in the home recognize if it’s day or night.
This trial would help residents make difference between night and day staff and it would serve as a cue to go to bed. The experiment was successful and residents experienced both physical and psychological advantages, including better night sleep, lower restlessness and pacing too.
The staff also reported daytime routine improvement in residents- they had more energy, ate more food and drank more fluids, and had reduction in mood swings.
What Were the Trial’s Objectives?
- Ensure health, safety, and well-being of residents and staff
- Ensure that staff wears clothing according to the objectives of the case study
- Ensure staff is able to keep a positive, professional image
- Ensure easy recognition and identification of role and profession
- Ensure that control of infection, health, and safety issues are addressed
Night & Day Recognition Difficult for Nursing Home Patients
For a lot of patients in nursing homes, making a difference between night and day, especially among the ones with dementia, is very hard, especially when the staff wears the same uniform throughout the day and night.
Consequently, the patients experiences poor daily routines, lack of sleep, restlessness, and nighttime pacing.
This is why the staff at this particular nursing home was given the opportunity to wear pajamas at night shift to see if the patients’ well-being and sleep would improve.
Conclusions from the Trial
The primary reaction to the staff wearing pajamas was positive and there were a lot of smiles and chatting about their interesting outfits.
The residents were comfortable and relaxed about being walked to their rooms and taken to bed.
They seemed to connect the staff’s clothing with bedtime and showed bigger willingness to go to sleep rather than when the staff was in their regular uniforms.
The more restless residents experienced better sleep at night, lowered sleep deprivation, as well as reduced pacing and disorientation.
These were regular problems for some of the residents before and caused them to have low energy, irritability, and mood swings at daytime. Consequently, the patients had reduced intake of fluids and food.
Overall, the atmosphere became more relaxed, the residents were happier, and settled with drinking warm beverages prior to bed. Both residents and staff noted a feeling of ‘comfort and as if they were ay home’ and thus, bettered the resident/staff relationship too.
Nonetheless, removing uniforms isn’t changing the culture of care, but it’s a crucial symbol of making the residence more ‘home like’ and thus, improve the staff/patient relationship.